NMC058 Miami Tri-Rail

Daphine Mbithuka


Episode #58: Miami Tri-Rail

Recorded: June 21, 2017

Location: In Florida en route to Cancun.

Subject: Reminiscing on the good, the bad, and the ugly of our one-year experience of living on the boat.

Having lived on the  s/v Dawn Treader for a whole year, it is expected that every member of the sailing family has had a fair share of the good, the bad, or even the ugly. But most importantly, everyone has independent views on whether living on the boat is worth it or not.

And as a way to celebrate their one-year anniversary living on the boat, Rosa Linda Román interviews her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Ahava, on this week’s episode of New Mexi-Castaways. On one hand, Nathan admits that juggling between the boat projects and his work can be really frustrating. On the other hand, Ahava admits that she loves, loves, loves living on the boat. However, it’s evident that as a family they all work together to make their experiences on the boat memorable. Something that every family should strive for, don’t you think? We hope that you enjoy this episode as you listen in!

P.S. If you liked this episode check out our most recent episode:

NMC057 KonMari on a Boat


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Episode Transcript:

Rosa Linda Román (00:28): Hello, and welcome to New Mexi-Castaways. I'm Rosa Linda Román , and I'm here with two special guests today. But before I get to that, let me just kind of paint the scene for you. Normally, I'm either recording on the boat, our floating home, the Dawn Treader, which is a 45-foot sailing catamaran. [Indiscernible 00:51]. Yeah, as you can hear, I am now on the Tri-Rail, which is the train that goes from West Palm Beach to Miami. And I'm on the trail with two of my family members. Nathan is my husband say. Nathan (01:07): Hello, [Indiscernible 01:08]. Announcer 01:09): [Indiscernible] Rosa Linda Román (01:10): That's the announcer. You're going to hear that throughout. And my other companion is… Ahava (01:17): Ahava. Rosa Linda Román (01:18): And how old are you? Ahava (01:19): 12 Rosa Linda Román (01:20): So, that's my 12-year-old daughter. Nathan (01:21): 12 going on 13. Rosa Linda Román (01:22): 12 going on 13. She's sitting here reading Harry Potter which book? Ahava (01:28): The fourth, Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix. Rosa Linda Román (01:32): So, I might as well just get started now, because, you know, she's here with me, and doesn't really have a choice. I'm putting my family on the spot. We're going to get into like what it's been like for one whole year of living on the boat. But first I want to hear about Harry Potter. Ahava (01:47): I like it. Rosa Linda Román (01:50): Is this the first time you're reading the series? Ahava (01:51): Yes. Rosa Linda Román (01:52): And give me a quick review. What do you think of Harry Potter? Ahava (01:57): I like it. Rosa Linda Román (01:57): Wow, that's a quite in-depth review. So, what are you thinking? You're on the fifth book, you said? You've gone through almost four and a half books in probably what? Two weeks? Nathan (02:13): Did you read the part about Harry killing the white witch? Rosa Linda Román (02:19): Too bad you guys can't see the scowl on our daughter's face as her daddy teases her and her mommy puts her on the spot. Anyway, so bottom line is she loves Harry Potter. I was going to try to get her to tell you that she's a voracious really advanced reader, not that she would say that, but she is. And so, she's gone through these, if you know anything about Harry Potter, the books are massive. Can I see how many pages are in this one? Ahava (02:47): This one's not a big one. Rosa Linda Román (02:48): It's not one of the big ones. How many pages? It's like hundreds of pages. Ahava (02:56): Let's see. Rosa Linda Román (02:57): Okay. Ahava (02:58): 870. Rosa Linda Román (02:59): Right, and this is not one of the big ones. So, this is a lot of a lot of- Ahava (03:05): The biggest one is the fourth one. Rosa Linda Román (03:06): Oh, and how many was that? Do you know? Ahava (03:07): I don't know how many. Rosa Linda Román (03:08): Was it like a thousand pages? Ahava (03:10): No, I don't know, actually- Rosa Linda Román (03:12): But it was just a big book. Anyway, so it's been interesting. We've had Ahava all to ourselves here on… I had Ahava really all to myself on the Dawn Treader. As you can see here, there's lots of distractions. Nathan went to go talk to somebody and this is, ooh, nice. He's looking at a guy wiping one of the Tri-Rail tables with a like a Clorox wipe and what came off the table is pretty disgusting. So, I'm going to pause while I get my husband to stop talking in the background, please. And I'll be right back Nathan (03:56): So, this is my second take of recording and interviewing Rosa Linda. This is Nathan, her husband. And the reason I'm taking over this interview is because Ahava and I found a way to screw it up once again so we're going to interview Rosa Linda now and she's going to tell you why she does what she does, and puts up with the kind of pain that we give her. Anyway, here's Rosa Linda, and I'll pass it off. Oh, by the way, this is my second take of this, because I forgot to press record button the first time. Rosa Linda Román (04:35): So, as you can see, I told you it was going to be a different episode. It's hard enough to try to record these episodes by myself in the car or on the boat, because A, there's always background noise, as you can hear right now. It's kind of cool you can hear there's a lady talking in Creole, there's the train sounds from the Tri-Rail, and just general background noise. In my car by myself you hear, you know, the street sounds, honking, the air conditioning, the radar detector, that kind of stuff. And then, I thought, well, I'm sitting here and I have a captive audience with Nathan and Ahava, and I've always wanted to interview them. I've interviewed Ziva in past episodes when we were sleeping up on deck, under the stars at Sandy Cay. And it was so fun to talk with her. So, I thought this is great. I got Nathan and Ahava all to myself for the next, I don't know, 40 minutes or something. But then in the middle of it, Nathan just got up and walked away Nathan (05:44): Because he has the attention span of a gnat [Indiscernible 00:05:46] Samuel, which it is. Rosa Linda Román (05:49): Yeah, Samuel is our six-year-old son who he and Ziva are in Chicago. So, where are we? Can you guys tell me where we are going? And why are we on the Tri-Rail? Ahava (06:00): We're on the Tri-Rail cause we needed a ride to the airport. We're going to the airport to fly to Cancun. We're going to Cancun because there's a wedding. Rosa Linda Román (06:08): Yes. My cousin Michelle is getting married. Nathan (06:12): I'm actually going to Cancun because there's free drinks, meals, and it's a beach Rosa Linda Román (06:16): And you can do that all without having to fix a boat to enjoy it. Nathan (06:19): Correct. Rosa Linda Román (06:20): Which is our normal life is Nathan works nonstop. You know, he flies to New Mexico. He just got back what? Two days ago? A day and a half ago? Nathan (06:29): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (06:29): And he flies to New Mexico. He flies all over the country for work. And then, he comes home for two days, and he's got all these boat projects to do. So, that actually is kind of the subject I wanted to talk about today, because this week marks the one-year anniversary that we have lived on this boat. It's so crazy to think that we've been on the boat already a year. Do you guys think it's strange? Nathan (06:54): Yeah, I think we should take it out and sink. Rosa Linda Román (06:55): Oh, that's great. How about you Ahava? Ahava (06:59): Yes, I don't want to go back. Rosa Linda Román (07:01): Oh you don't want to take it out and sink it? Ahava (07:02): No. I want to keep living a… I like living on the boat. Rosa Linda Román (07:09): I'm glad you like living on the boat. I do too. Nathan (07:12): I do too, just the projects are sometimes not what I like about the boat. Rosa Linda Román (07:17): Yeah. So, let's start with you, Nate. So, Nathan let's just run through in the past year how many… Tell us about some of the projects that you've had to do in the past year on the boat. So, like just this week? Nathan (07:33): This week I replaced the air conditioner pump, replaced the hoses to it, replaced the wiring and the Wi-Fi which was an external booster antenna. What else did I do? What else? Rosa Linda Román (07:52): Oh, and I'll enhance some of what you said, because it's not just replacing the things, but you have to basically create new systems, because the way the boat was designed, something might not fit in this spot or that spot. And so, like the WiringPRO, which is the booster required. You had to do some drilling and stuff. What was that? Tell me what you had to do with that. Nathan (08:13): Well, there's no spaces left vacant in a boat. It's not like you can just drill a hole through a wall, walk outside, drill a hole through a wall, and you're done with the wiring. You know, you've got to try to figure out a way to get it to the power you need when you go. It's a pain in the butt, especially, can I insult the French design? Rosa Linda Román (08:32): N, you cannot. So, he gets frustrated, because our boat is made in France and he feels that there's much more focus on aesthetics than functionality. I don't know if that's a French boat kind of thing or if it just is a boat kind of thing. So, we're not going to determine that right now, only to that certain things about our boat are very frustrating for Nathan. Fair enough? Nathan (08:58): Correct. Rosa Linda Román (08:58): Okay. What else? What are the things that we put on the boat [Crosstalk 09:01]. Nathan (09:03): Refrigerator, freezer, other air conditioning pumps. Rosa Linda Román (09:06): We replaced both the refrigerator and freezer, and you had to install them. Nathan (09:11): Correct and rewire them, and the water maker, and the generator, a generator pump, not to generate itself, the fuel transport system to one of the engines, the fuel pump or booster pump, three air conditioners themselves. Rosa Linda Román (09:34): So, you get the idea and there are still many projects to do, right? Nathan (09:37): Yeah and what else have we done? Rosa Linda Román (09:40): I was trying to think of some of the other ones. Well, did you mention the generator and how the impeller, like, totally broke and chopped up inside, and Ziva, our daughter had to crawl inside the generator cabinet, right? Nathan (09:55): Yeah, because it's too small for me to get into. It's impossible. So, I had to lower my daughter in there so she could get in there and dig in the back of the generator, try to get to it. Anyway, the problem with all this systems is that they're just not made to work on, so you can't get to any of the maintenance things even when they put a hatch in, and when you get to it, things are turned backwards, because they built the boat from the other side, and they don't think about putting even fittings facing a way you can get them. So, yeah, it's a little frustrating sometimes. Rosa Linda Román (10:28): I'd say a lot frustrating, especially, because he only has a limited amount of time when he's home and, of course, the theory is he's going to relax, right? But that's when all the boat projects require his attention. So, I'd say for all of us on the boat, probably, the past year has been most frustrating for you over the rest of us. Don't you think? Nathan (10:48): I think so. Rosa Linda Román (10:50): I was trying to think of some of the other things you've had to do. And a lot of it is like little daily things that break. And sometimes the big projects he gets frustrated, but if he shifts focus and like, you've been really good about using that as a chance, because one of the things that is different about us versus other people who live on a boat is we live on a boat with our children, right? And now we're homeschooling. And so, Nathan has been, I think in the beginning, if it's okay to say, you were more inclined to just handle the things that needed to be fixed by yourself. And then, at some point, you realized this was going to be a chance to teach the kids. So, you've really involved the kids in the learning. So, for example, Ziva has been, what kinds of things has she done with you? Nathan (11:41): Well, she's been my little help around a lot of things. She has the generator. She's great in that, changing the oil, changing the fuel filters, doing all that mid-general maintenance. She's great. Rosa Linda Román (11:56): And then, yeah, that was my next question. So Ahava, you've been involved in a lot of these projects too. So, what things have you been working on and things that you've learned, because you do some of the, even the general maintenance. So, give me an example of some of the things you've done. Ahava (12:10): Well, I do a lot of the rigging and sail stuff. Like, every time we have to raise and lower either the sails, let's see what else? I like to rig them, rerig them. How do you call it? Rosa Linda Román (12:24): Nate, what would you call that? She's talking about you- Ahava (12:28): Like, you know when I fixed the down the hall- Nathan (12:30): Yeah, rigging. Ahava (12:31): Rigging, I did a lot of rigging stuff. Rosa Linda Román (12:33): She's straightening the rigging and making sure everything's moving properly. Nathan (12:37): Her biggest single job on the boat that does everything, makes everything work is cleaning the dog poop. Rosa Linda Román (12:45): Tell us about that. What's that, not the cleaning of the poop, that's disgusting, but you've been really a great doggy helper, right? And it's nice to have her on the boat. Ahava (12:56): Yes, but it was supposed to be Ziva's in my dog. And we even had like a chart, like, okay, this day is your, and then it just turned into my dogs [Crosstalk 13:05]. So, now she's pretty much my dog, because I feed her sometimes. And I think her food is more gross than her poop. And I clean the poop, I brush, you know, all that stuff. Rosa Linda Román (13:23): Yeah, the other thing I was thinking about that you do is something that has to be done every third day. Ahava (13:29): Oh, I clean the air conditioning filter. Rosa Linda Román (13:31): And what is that? You just pick out a little screen and rinse it. Ahava (13:36): No, you have to like take off the whole cover and it's like a metal filter. Rosa Linda Román (13:42): Well, it's a salt water system that cools the air conditioning, keeps it working. And so, inside, there's a filter for the saltwater that comes in through the system, right? And what do you find in there? Ahava (14:00): [Indiscernible 14:01] seaweed, barnacles. Rosa Linda Román (14:05): And so you have to take it apart- Ahava (14:06): Some squishy stuff that I don't know what it is. Rosa Linda Román (14:10): Right, so you have to take it apart, and clean it out, and put it back or else, potentially, we could lose an air conditioning, which for daddy would be horribly tragic. Ahava (14:19): Yes. Rosa Linda Román (14:19): And probably for me too, but I don't need AC as much as daddy does, right. Ahava (14:25): Right. Rosa Linda Román (14:19): What do you think of the temperature? Nathan (14:32): Well, let me see how do you put it? [Indiscernible (14:36) while on a winter vacation, we just moved south to hell. Rosa Linda Román (14:40): Yeah. He's not a fan of the heat. I, on the other hand, I'm very happy to be warm all the time. Okay. So, I think that was a good start. We will take a little break and we'll be back in a little bit. Well, that was probably the longest break between segments that I've ever done so far. And the biggest distance between segments, because last, when I left you, I had my daughter Ahava and my husband with me on the Tri-Rail in Florida. Well, I guess it wasn't that big of a distance cause then we went to Mexico. So what happened after that last break? Well, during that last break is my battery died, my Zoom H4n recorder and I could not find batteries anywhere along the way. So, I couldn't find them in the Fort Lauderdale Airport, I couldn't find batteries. Rosa Linda Román (15:47): So, I was in a predicament cause we started the show, and then, just never could make it happen after that. And I thought, "Well, I'm not going to leave you hanging at least let me wrap it up and tell you what happened." We had a great trip to Cancun and now we are back on the Dawn Treader. All of us are back together and I'm actually in the guest room right now straightening things up, and organizing, and still getting rid of a bunch of stuff, because we have a guest coming here today. No, not today, tomorrow. And that's my husband's cousin from up in, I think, up Seattle, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest is where Jesse is from. And he's coming to join us for, I think, a couple of weeks, which is very, cool young man who we really like a lot. Rosa Linda Román (16:38): It's been an interesting week of family for me, because I went to my cousin's wedding in Cancun, which I had never been and got to spend time with a lot of my cousins, and my cousins' kids and got to know them in a whole new way and loved it. It was just really a nice trip. It's been fun doing things a little differently and realizing that, you know, we love the boat, we love being on the boat, but every now and then getting off the boat is good for us too. So, it was really good for the whole family to get together and just play. I didn't accomplish anything all week in terms of like productivity. Rosa Linda Román (17:22): I brought some papers that I was going to work on and all that kind of stuff. And in the end, I laughed at myself knowing there was no way I was doing any work and I was just going to go and hang out at the beach with my cousin, and my sister was there, and her husband. And so, it was a good weekend, not just a weekend a week. Oh, there's that crackle again. I apologize. I know you guys have heard way too much of that in this podcast, but I just do not know the solution. I'm going to be working on that over the next few weeks. So, hopefully, in the coming weeks, the episodes will be a lot clearer. My editor Ryan is fabulous and doing the best he can with the sound to try to get rid of some of that horrible noise, but I have a feeling I have a faulty cable, or what I fear is that the actual recorder, the Zoom recorder has a short in it. Rosa Linda Román (18:18): Because I've tried a bunch of different mics, and a bunch of different connectors, and I just keep still having that crackle, so I'm not sure what the solution, and again, I apologize. I am going to keep trying to find a good solution to make things actually not sound horrible. That's my goal, is to not have a horrible-sounding podcast. I also was thinking, because to continue with what the actual theme, the original plan as I was talking to my daughter and my husband is I was trying to talk about different things that we learned and experienced from the past year of living on the boat, and I like the fact that I can kind of free flow, share my thoughts here on this podcast, but I also think there are certain things that we've experienced that might be beneficial for you guys or for anyone that might either want to live on a boat or visit someone who lives on a boat. Rosa Linda Román (19:15): And I know I've done a little bit of that, but I'll try to put together some maybe more thoughtful episodes where we actually have a theme, a subject, something that will help people. So, I'll work on that and the audio for the coming months. But just to kind of wrap things up, we are actually moving the Dawn Treader today because the location we're in is pretty brutal from time to time. It's fine most of the time, although it's very, very busy. It's a dock with a lot of people coming and going. And because there's a, what do you call it? A ship that is like a dinner cruise kind of thing, you know, go once a day, there'll be a whole bunch of people walking by to go to their dinner cruise, and then, there's just a lot more activity, because there's the fuel dock and there's all this other stuff. Rosa Linda Román (20:21): So, we're going to switch with another boat called Hangover, which when I first came to this marina, I was like, "Who names a boat Hangover? But it's been here for the whole time we've been here and they're going to move here. This outside area is I think much better for a large boat than for like a little family sailing catamaran like ours. And so, they're going to swap with us and we're going to move in about an hour. So, that's why you hear the engines on right now. Nathan wanted to test things out and make sure everything's working well before we actually moved the boat to the new location. Rosa Linda Román (21:07): Now, where we're going, how long we'll be there, and where we're going from there is a mystery. We had originally said that we were going to go up the east coast like now, right? When we came back from Cancun, the plan was to go up the east coast right after that. Well then the next thing that happened is Ahava and I think I mentioned this already, Ahava really wanted to be here longer so that she could continue her gymnastics training. So, we said, okay, we don't really want to be here in the worst part of the summer, but we can stay through July, and then, go up the east coast after that. Well, now there's a new development and this just happened yesterday. So, anything's possible. I don't know what we're going to do with this information, but Nathan got a text from his big boss, basically, asking him to take over a division of the company down here in south Florida, specifically, in Fort Lauderdale, and that they want him to help overhaul some of the hospitals down here, which is what he does in the Northeast. Rosa Linda Román (22:22): Nathan's an interesting guy. I should do an interview and talk about him one of these days. He was a mechanical engineer for his whole career until at 40 he decided to go to medical school. So, he has a lot of skills. He owns businesses and he brings a lot of interesting things to the table, especially, in a field like medicine, where doctors are mostly focused on what they're good at, which is the medicine side of the equation. So, he bridges the gap in a lot of ways between the business side of things and the medical side of things, because he's also, in my opinion, a fabulous doctor. But anyway, so this isn't like brand new development where we don't even know what we're going to do with it. The original thought was we were going to head up the east coast and be closer to kind of the hub of where he does his work currently. Rosa Linda Román (23:17): He is usually working on troubleshooting and helping hospitals in the Northeast, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. And so, that was a big part of why we said, well, let's head up the east coast, and that way he can be closer to his work. And instead of maybe taking a three-day trip to get to these sites, he could get to the sites in a day and be back, you know, and be home in time for bed at least. Well, so now that's changing maybe, because if he's going to be working here in Florida that could potentially change everything. Again, this is so new. I can't even really process it. The good thing is that he's excited about the possibility and I certainly support that, because you know, I want him to love what he's doing. I certainly want to support whatever it is that he's excited about career-wise, but then, there's the gymnastics factor. Rosa Linda Román (24:13): And by the way, when Ahava found out that we may be moving to Florida she just was so excited because she wants to go to the gym and stay at the gym here that she's training at. And so, the two of them, and that's who I was with all week in Cancun, with Ahava and Nathan, they both were like pretty excited about this possibility. And I am excited for them in the sense that, you know, it sounds like something they would like to do, and I want to, you know, support their big dreams, and goals, and all of that. But I also cringe a little thinking, does this mean we're going to be stuck, because if you've listened to me and my podcast at all, you know that I have a bit of a wanderlust and I feel sometimes like a tiger pacing in a cage like I'm ready to go, I'm ready to go, I'm ready to go. Rosa Linda Román (25:14): And so, with this new possibility I'm asking myself the question, what is it going to take to… if this does become our new reality, what do I need to make sure that I stay balanced and happy, and fine with if we do stay in one place. So, does that mean we have to go on more day sails? Does that mean we… you know, I put the kids in school, because obviously, we homeschool, but if we're not actually sailing away, then do I put them in a local school, or do I keep homeschooling? So, we still have the flexibility somewhat to come and go as we please. So, I mean, these are so many and so many more questions I have. I am not sure I'm ready to settle in one spot. But again, I also want to support them in the things that matter the most to them, and that doesn't even take into account the fact that I have two other kids, and we have to figure out obviously what works for them as well. Rosa Linda Román (26:23): So, there's a lot going on in the time since I left you. And this one-year anniversary month, let's say, we've got a lot to consider. So, I will hopefully share a lot more here on New Mexi-Castaways as the time goes on. Right now I'm going to focus on trying to get all of my stuff done here before our guest arrives tomorrow. And I hope you are having a fantastic week, month whenever you're listening to this. And if you like this podcast, I hope you will tell a friend share it. And also, you can leave us a review either in iTunes or any of the place that you get your podcasts. You can go to the podcast app and share your thoughts in there. That's the Apple Podcast app. And my favorite way to listen to podcasts is on Stitcher And there's the crackle, again, because I moved and Nathan just came in. Maybe it's your electric personality, because all of a sudden everything's crackling again. All right, so I'm going to wrap this up. He needs me. I got work to do. And I just wanted to wrap up the show before I moved on to the next thing. So, oops, there it goes again. Yeah, I think it's a bad cable. Well, I appreciate you guys listening. I'm Rosa Linda Román and this is New Mexi-Castaways. Bye.

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